View Full Version : How often do you clean your can opener?

05-05-2013, 09:32 PM
Pretty straight forward. How often do you clean your can opener. I grew up with 'when it looks nasty' but dh seems to lean towards 'every use'. wondering if there's a norm

05-05-2013, 10:09 PM
I grew up in a house with very lax food safety, and I was often sick. As a result, I'm pretty OCD about food and kitchen safety/hygiene. Therefore, I voted after every use.

05-05-2013, 10:29 PM
I voted 'Other.' I wipe it down after each use, but that mainly consists of just wiping it down and/or running it under hot water. I don't use soap unless it's been opening something sticky or particularly messy or looks like it needs it, which is probably somewhere between weekly and monthly.

05-05-2013, 10:48 PM
It never has occurred to me to clean it. I have the kind that opens the can without sharp edges (my brother was injured by a can lid as a child, so I was keen to get one of the safer ones). Does that make a difference? Probably not. I just never have seen anything on it and no one ever had me clean it...

Pennie Elwood
05-06-2013, 12:02 AM
Ours gets used and tossed back in the drawer most of the time. But it usually gets put in the dishwasher about 2 or 3 times/week. And for some reason we have 3 can openers. Makes no sense.

05-06-2013, 12:07 AM
We just have one of those metal crank the knob can openers and usually after using it we just rinse it off and put it up. But I have to say it hardly gets much use at all because we try to can our own vegetables, salsas, and tomato juice as much as possible. So whenever I do need the can opener for something, I have to look all over the kitchen to find it. DH hasn't figured out that it's easier to put things back where they're supposed to go. LOL.

Stella M
05-06-2013, 12:08 AM
Is there some super duper American version ? I just wash after use. But I am thinking of a very small, handheld opener.

05-06-2013, 05:53 AM
We have a small hand held version. I wash it occasionally but rarely eat canned stuff so its hard to tell. I don't think its after every use - maybe every few uses. It doesn't look dirty.

05-06-2013, 07:27 AM
Now and then. But I don't use it that often.

05-06-2013, 07:50 AM
I rinse it after each use. Ours is the hand-held kind, and the directions say not to immerse them in water. If you do they develop rust fairly quickly.

05-06-2013, 10:38 AM
I throw it in the dishwasher after every use, because I seem to recall Alton Brown saying you should (something like that was the first thing health and safety inspectors checked at restaurants, because they are a hotbed of bacteria, or something like that). But I have a handheld one that is now quite rusty, and DH says it's because of the dishwasher, and we should only rinse and dry it after each use. Clearly the solution is to just stop using cans.

05-06-2013, 11:11 AM
ours are hand held with plastic handles over the metal, one has a metal turning part and one has a plastic turning part. i always thought there was supposed to be some grease in the mechanics to help them turn and that washing would make them harder to use. maybe its just the rust factor.

i use cans of olives (for taco and pizza and veggie platters and salads), tuna (orion eats tuna at least every week or two), tomato paste and canned tomatoes (chili, spag sauce, pizza sauce), and salmon (salmon pie, salmon patties). I'm not sure if dh uses the can opener for cat food or if they are pull tab - i think they are pull tab? but i'm not sure. growing up i know i used it on the dog food all the time and put it right back in the drawer. my father would complain on occasion, but my mom had a degree in food chemistry and never seemed to think it mattered at all

05-06-2013, 11:20 AM
I have the kind that doesn't cut the metal or even get wet/dirty. I have had it for 7 years and think I have washed it once (and by accident that one).

Stella M
05-06-2013, 06:38 PM
Mine doesn't get dirty. And it hasn't gone rusty. Lol. Why am I on this thread ??

05-06-2013, 07:13 PM
I have an electric one. I guess that makes a difference. I used to have a handheld and ran it under water after using it and used soap if something got stuck on it.

Now...I don't know. I wipe it down when I'm wiping counters but I don't really think about the blade unless I open something creamy that could get stuck to it...but that's not that often because the rare occasions that I use "cream of..:" it is in a pop-tab.

so... yeah.

05-06-2013, 07:44 PM
I have never cleaned mine. We have the kind that opens with no sharp edges too. Not sure if that matters. I never saw anyone clean it growing up, and I just never thought to do it.

05-06-2013, 07:50 PM
I used to use a "safety" can opener, no sharp edges, until I found little slivers of metal in my food. :O That pretty much did it for me.

I have arthritis in my hands so we use an electric can opener now (dd was so funny when we got it - it has been deemed fancy, which cracks me up) that has a detachable blade I pop off and rinse/wipe after each use. Ick!

05-06-2013, 07:51 PM
update - dh said the cat food cans do NOT need a can opener, and he only washes it occasionally - but every time if Orion leaves it sitting on the cat table (which is always covered in cat food, which contains gluten)

05-06-2013, 07:53 PM
This is very funny. I usually toss mine in once a week, but if I am doing a can heavy meal (quick/ easy chili) I'll wash it after that... Maybe once a week could be a good compromise between you and your DH?

Stella M
05-06-2013, 08:30 PM
I would totally wash it every use if it's being used around cat food. But I am phobic about cat food.

05-06-2013, 08:32 PM
dh does the dishes. i have learned not to care how often the can opener is washed, or how much soap is left on the hand-wash stuff . . .

05-06-2013, 10:05 PM
Are you people saying it might be bad if my dog's icky, smelly, prescription dog food gets mixed up with my refried beans? I think that about covers all the canned food we use in the house.

Sigh. I guess I better go clean my can opener.

05-07-2013, 10:52 PM
Rinse after each use, wash more thoroughly if it obviously has stuff on it.

05-08-2013, 03:11 PM
We rinse after every use and toss back in the drawer. Every couple of weeks I will throw it in the dishwasher. It never has stuff on it that I can see so I think that is an OK way to do it? Not sure. We rarely use cans (things like canned tomatoes for chili or similar) and aren't feeding any pets, so it isn't too much of an issue.

Kelly Cyr-Levesque
05-08-2013, 10:59 PM
We have the one that opens the outside rim and not the inside.(Pampered Chef) I've never washed it.

As a matter of fact, I just went to see if it was dirty and it's clean as a whistle. I use it at least every other day.

05-09-2013, 12:59 PM
Our can opener gets cleaned when and if it's dirty, which isn't often because we rarely use it. It's primary use right now is getting lost.

05-09-2013, 01:36 PM
I'm glad I'm not the only one who had no idea anyone cleans them. But it does seem like there's no reason or at least less reason to clean the outer rim kind.

05-09-2013, 02:24 PM
I clean it every couple of uses, or if it got something dirty/sticky on it. (I have a little handheld one). I find though, they get rusty easily when you do clean it. Conundrum!! :_laugh:

Stella M
05-09-2013, 06:27 PM
So, I daringly put away the tin opener last night unwashed...

And spent the rest of the evening feeling a nagging sense of uncleanliness...

05-09-2013, 06:41 PM
So, I daringly put away the tin opener last night unwashed...

And spent the rest of the evening feeling a nagging sense of uncleanliness...

That made me laugh out loud. :)